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Health IT Pilot Communities through Recovery Act Beacon Community Program
Beacon is a community-based program to spotlight a variety of “best practice” approaches to improving health and health care delivery in the United States. Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Beacon Communities are a series of medical practice and research coalitions focusing on specific health conditions in their areas and utilizing and developing efficient systems based on their foundational expertise.
Overall, each Beacon program seeks to:
- Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
- Engage patients and their families in their health care
- Improve health care coordination
- Improve public health and the health of the community’s population
- Ensure privacy and security protections for personal health information
Watch the ONC Beacon Communities Highlight Video
Southeast Minnesota Beacon Community
The Southeast Minnesota Beacon Community consists of eleven counties, their public health departments, many health care providers, and school districts. Principal collaborating institutions and recipients of the $12.3 million Beacon grant include Austin Medical Center, Mayo Health System; Mayo Clinic; Olmsted Medical Center; and Winona Health Services.
In southeastern Minnesota, Beacon will focus on two health conditions: childhood asthma and adult Type II diabetes. Both are highly prevalent conditions that are on the rise and that are associated with increased health care costs, restricted lives, downstream illnesses and complications, and loss of time at work or school.
The goal is to understand the scope of these two public health problems, obtain accurate patient counts to best determine how people are being served and how many are underserved in some way. Another goal is to connect all the health care systems that come in contact with these patients in some way. A major effort in Beacon in Minnesota is to use information technology to create a communication system for coordinating and improving care.
For example, Beacon wants to connect school nurses, county public health nurses, and local clinics and hospitals so that treatment – especially for chronic problems -- does not happen in isolation. This type of health care continuity is valuable not only during major public health outbreaks, such as the flu, but is equally important for cost-effective and efficient management of disease trends, such as asthma and diabetes. Both are conditions that require long-term attention, maintenance care, and, at times, intervention. The objective of Beacon is to enable continuity and state-of-the-art practices as part of that continuing care – whether it is education, monitoring, applying new technology or tools, or social support. Two key concepts here are communication and coordination – and they are at the center of the Beacon program. A third, is community. Beacon is clearly not about any single entity or organization, but about the patients and the families being served. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, there is a sense here that it takes a community to keep one healthy.
Overview of the Southeastern Minnesota Beacon Community (PDF - 119 KB)
Watch the ONC SE Minnesota Beacon Highlight Video
- Principal Investigator: C.M. Harper, Jr. M.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Co-Principal Investigator: Christopher G. Chute, MD, DrPH email@example.com
- Co-Principal Investigator: Douglas L. Wood, M.D. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Co-Principal Investigator: Rajeev Chaudhry, MBBS email@example.com
- Program Director: Lacey Hart MBA, PMP, 507-293-3780, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Media Relations: Robert Nellis, 507-284-5005, email@example.com
For more information on the Beacon Community Program, e-mail BeaconCommunityGrants@hhs.gov.
The Meaningful Yoose Rap
Trying to figure out what eligible providers have to do to receive incentive payments from CMS for the meaningful use of electronic health records? Everything you need to get started is right here, delivered in under three minutes!
The American College of Medical Informatimusicology Proudly Presents:
The Meaningful Yoose Rap
Written and Performed by Dr. HITECH
See the Video at:
HD Video on Vimeo: